Posture is one of the essentials of Pilates. The overall objective of Pilates is to exercise your body in such a way as to keep all the body parts aligned so that all will benefit from the various movements. It makes use of the core strength of your body, which is the overall development of the superficial muscles of the body to keep it stable while you move the abdominal muscles and those of your lower back. These muscles are considered the powerhouse of the body and they help support the body when carrying out the exercise techniques.
When you have good posture in Pilates, you can move your neck and shoulders freely and this relieves the pressure that the exercise routine places on the muscles in the lower part of your body, such as in the hips, thighs and calves. In the practice of Pilates, learning to develop good posture is something that you need to take seriously once you intend to use this on a regular basis. Without attending to your posture, some of the movements may be painful while you are executing them and this can result in sore muscles after you are finished your routine.
Some of the benefits of developing good posture in Pilates include:
– relief of pain throughout the body
– efficient movement of the body parts while exercising
– the function of the muscles improves dramatically
– an increased range of motion in the neck, shoulders and limbs
– improvement in the circulation of blood through the body
– helps you tone and trim your body
– gives you more confidence as you learn the various movements and can do them properly
There is a specific method you can use to make sure you are using good posture in Pilates. Start by standing with your legs and feet directly below your hips. Adjust the balance of your body so that it feels as if you are taking all the weight of your body on one foot. Rock back and forth on each foot until you establish your center of balance.
Once you have the center of balance, pull in your abdominal muscles to activate the muscles of the body’s powerhouse, which is the area between the lower abdominal muscles and the pelvic bone. This action will give you the feeling that your back has dipped slightly because it is tucked more tightly into the pelvic area. Relax the muscles of your chest and allow your upper back and shoulder muscles to expand. When you achieve this, your neck and shoulders will be supported by your posture and you will see that you can move them freely without having to move from your position.
The Pilates posture, when properly executed, shows an alignment of the side of the body from the ankles to the ears as a straight line.